Wow, the Enneagram post last week. It brought out so many different feelings. The Enneagram highlights some of the things we already know about ourselves but may prefer to keep a little under wraps.

I hate to say it, but when I read the good and bad parts of my Enneagram number, I could see myself. It doesn’t mean I live in that box completely, but it allows me to reflect on the condition of my heart.  

The stress and growth lines in the Enneagram help me to identify how healthy my heart is based on how I am reacting. When you follow the numbers pointing away from your number on the Enneagram diagram it will show you what number qualities you take on when you are in a time of stress or a time of growth. For example, an 8 will act out of their stress like an unhealthy 5 and so on.  

When I asked some of my friends their Enneagram numbers last week, many of them jumped in. Some were quick to point out the negative parts of their number, but no one mentioned the sparkly ones. Others didn’t want to admit their number and wished they were another.

Do I believe that God knows me but is secretly disappointed at the parts of me that are a little tricky? Do I think He wishes I was more like this or that? When my kids notice different things about themselves, like Teddy pointing out his birthmark, I say over and over, “God knows…and my God doesn’t mess up.”

When God sees you, He knows way more than your Enneagram number and way more about the good and bad…and none of it is a mistake. I believe that. I believe my God…but sometimes I look too much at myself and not enough at Him. There are tricky parts about my number, yet with my God they look differently. I am an 8. When I’m at my best, the Enneagram Institute says I can lead like Martin Luther King; at my worst, like Fidel Castro. That’s about as big a divide as you can get. Yet God. God can use the good and the tricky parts. When I begin to hold too tightly to things that are outside of my control, I can see the tricky parts of me sneaking in, and it causes me to readjust. For me it can mean literally repeating to myself, “Change your gaze, look to Him.” “God, what do you expect from me right now?”

We can’t choose who we are but we can choose how we live, so over and over I am going to choose to hold loosely to this life that I have been handed, to seek the sweet truths that my God may have me know. To change my gaze from myself to Him and live in pursuit, not of the knowledge of more of myself, but in the knowledge of who I am in Him. That is the truth that will last.  

If you want to press into the growth arrow, to operate as the best version of yourself, the only sustainable way to do that is to run towards Jesus. We can’t do it alone, but He is waiting to catch your gaze as you look for Him. I want to be ever more, ever seeking to be the best version of myself, which will only ever be found in Him.

This is the free life. Held loosely and lived freely when I live held by Him.